The Nicky Clarke Experience + Haul :)

I have a love-hate relationship with going to get my haircut - I love it because it's another aspect of pampering yourself, but I hate it because 1) I never know what I want and 2) even if I do, mostly like than not it wont turn out the way I want.

Could it be because I just go to local salons, and never really make the effort to ride on reputation or go to more 'style'-oriented salons? Maybe. So I took a shot, and booked myself an appointment at the Nicky Clarke salon on Mount Street in Mayfair (for those of you with NUS cards gets 40% off which ends up about £39 for a cut and blow dry!).

My expectations were somewhat shaped by a review I read earlier - a snotty, charge-for-everything atmosphere. I was both wrong and right.

Making an appointment raised my hopes, as the guy on the other end was very nice, and I recognised his voice when I spoke to the receptionist when I got there. But there was another bloke at the counter who was a snotty, stuck-up *bleep*. He shook his head, smirking at customers, and was just generally rude.

Now I got there 10min before my appointment, but ended up waiting about 10min after my appointment as well, in which time 2 others had been collected by other stylists. I was offered a coffee or a tea, but had been told earlier that Nicky Clarke charges for drinks, so I refused. Whether it was because my stylist had another client on (which she did, and I did hear the receptionist ring up to tell her) or what - I have no idea but it was starting to take the piss.

Taken from LDS.

However, when Theony, my stylist, eventually did come she was absolutely great! (Beforehand I was sent to the cloakroom, where you can leave your coat and get the fashionable cloak on :P I did notice a tip jar, but wasn't quite sure if I was prepared to or not.)

Anyway, Theony knew what she was talking about, and I could tell because despite my incredibly layered and thinned out hair, she could tell that I originally have very thick hair. I told her I wanted some volume and fat hair and she talked me through what was "wrong" with the style I had now, and how I can change it.

I got my hair washed by a different guy, and he was friendly enough. After shampoo-ing I got asked if I wanted conditioner - I've NEVER been asked that! Anyway, I refused in fear of being charged like an extra tenner (although I'm not sure if they do lol).

During my haircut Theony gave me tips about how to take care of my hair, and accommodated it to what I asked for - low maintenance and low budget. She was an absolute delight!

So after my haircut I went back to the cloakroom to get my cloak off, and to get the hair dusted off me, which to be honest didn't help that much. For a professional salon I must say it was quite poor. I do realise I should've tipped as I'm guessing these girls don't get paid too much, but if I'm honest - the girl put a gown on me, took it off, and brushed away hairs.. maybe if I wasn't a student I would have.

Anyway, when I went to pay, they didn't ask me if I had any drinks so maybe they don't charge anymore - but they also didn't even bother asking for my NUS card, so they were quite relaxed in that sense. Or I just screamed, "STUDENT!" :P

ANYWAY! Here is the result :)

I know, it's so short! But Theony had told me that my hair was much too layered to have the natural thickness, and also that my ends were relatively damaged so she said she would cut about 2 inches off. After she had done that, she also said that it would be better if she could cut a bit more off but that it would be okay if I'd come back in 3 weeks and had it done then - but I can't afford £80 over 3 weeks! So I asked her to do it then and there :P

So hopefully now my hair will become thicker and more voluminous after it grows out :) On the way back, I bought a hair mask from Herbal Essences which I had read in Glamour was good, as well as a round volume brush from TRESemme, to add some life into my roots and ends.

Those weren't the only things I bought then, but the other thing can wait for another time :)

Overall, I'm glad I didn't walk into Nicky Clarke with a naive attitude to the place - I got what I expected, but I also got some good tips that I'd never gotten from a stylist before. I do feel my hair is more like what I want it to be, and I would consider going back early next year for another trim (Theony was never pushy about me coming back to her which I liked) because I genuinely think I got my money's worth.

The most surprising thing I learnt today? Don't apply masks or oil treatments every time you wash your hair! I was my hair once every 2 days, and she said that I should be applying the oil once every 4 days and a hair mask once a week. Why? Because it can actually make your ends TOO soft and therefore become prone to breakage - WHAAAAT? I was surprised, but I might be the only one :P

Have you ever been to these "big" salons?
What's the strangest/most surprising hair tip you've gotten?

If anyone has any recommendations for hair salons in central London (which are affordable :P) I'd love to know! :)


P.S. I'll be at TOWIB tomorrow - will you? I'm so excited to meet everyone! :) See you there!


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